Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 13 January 2011
I loved the William books when I was a kid, and rereading these stories, they are even better and funnier than I remember them. I read somewhere they were originally written for adults, not children, as a comment on the fashions, trends and mores of the time, and some of the vocabulary would definitely not be familiar to most 11-year-olds.

Just a couple of minor quibbles on the Kindle edition - where there should have been illustrations, it just showed the word "Illustration" and the caption, and the chapters didn't start on an new page. I notice another reviewer did get the illustrations, so maybe my Kindle isn't set up right (though I did get the illustrations in another book). Anyway, I don't want to be too fussy, given the book is free and, I gather, was put together by volunteers.
11 Comment| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 12 March 2011
The William books were already 'vintage' when I read them as a child and had to be rescued from charity shops, so I wasn't quite sure how I would find these stories today - but to my huge relief they're just as funny, subversive and hysterical as I remember.

As another reviewer mentions, these books were originally written for adults, something which passed me by when I first read them, but which leaps to the eye now. William's good intentions, icy logic and sullen determination in the face of adults are a hilarious tribute to domestic mavericks everywhere.

If you haven't tried William before, then this is an excellent place to start - highly recommended.
0Comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 June 2013
It seems to me as if the much loved and remembered Richmal Crompton had two versions of William in her literary noddle. There's William that most know - rumbustious, boisterous but with the resulting chaos never really looked for - but there's also another William not so likeable - deeply jealous, vindictive and malicious; this collection is mostly, sadly, tales of the latter. In most of this book, William breaks, steals and lies because he wants to, and I think, possibly, this is what another reviewer has also noticed in relation to his comment that this book didn't seem to contain the William Brown he remembered from years ago.

There are still some brilliant bits, whole chapters even (the Christmas one is excellent), but overall, not the best collection of stories from over the years.

Although it is also obvious across many other William tales, it's something you realise the more William books you read, it did not seem a priority for Richmal Crompton to utilise and maximise William's gang - its members of course, Henry, Douglas and Ginger aka the Outlaws; these do not feature here as such (at least not in 'gang formation'), and the only other character who threatens to scream to the power of three (minus lisp and without throwing up ensuing) is a young boy, Thomas, and not the one forever associated with this threat, Violet Elizabeth - this young lady is nowhere to be seen, but we do get Joan Clive, and she is a lovely support character in the Christmas chapter.

There are better William books than this, and better collections of previously published stories; this is ok, just about, but the other books are better as they feature a less wilfully destructive version of the boy.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 August 2013
I had forgotten just how good these stories are. Yes, they're very much of their time and decidedly not PC by any stretch of the imagination, but childhood is childhood in any age and Richmal Crompton captured this beautifully. William may be a handful but he's not malicious or vindictive, in fact he has his own rather peculiar moral code. This is particularly evident in the story about the May Queen, where he ensures that the 'right' person gets the role, and the story about the little girl facing an impoverished Christmas with her dad just coming out of prison. What is particularly remarkable is the standard of living of what must have been a fairly ordinary middle-class family. For example, there's a cook, maid and gardener. In fact, there may be more than one maid as William is said to have risen one Christmas morning 'before the maids'. Difficult to imagine the sheer size of the servant class in those days, no wonder there was full employment - one half of the population were employing the other!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 January 2011
Readers who enjoyed the Wiliam books in their childhood need have no qualms about going back to them in mature age; like the best literature for children, they pass the test of time in both senses, over the decades and throughout life. There is nothing condescending about the tone: the readers are taken as seriously as the protagonist himself, which makes the comedy all the more irresistable. Orginal illustrations and(as far as I can tell)typography contribute to create an inviting time warp; I wonder what today's kids make of it.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
As a child I confess to not liking the William books very much, although I was a huge fan of the television series. As an adult I absolutely love these books and devouring one is the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of everyday life. Unlike Horrid Henry I like the fact that William, a) gets his comeuppance every now and again and b) is actually rather lovely at heart. I adore the dialogue in these books, the way William and the other children talk is a complete delight and wasps will be forever 'wopses' to me.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 October 2013
I would suspect many of the attitudes of parental/family/school discipline or social customs such as domestic servants will be lost on present generation of children but I would hope it would awaken a sense of the fun of climbing trees, exploring muddy streams and indulging in essentially harmless mischief.

Maybe it's chilhood through rose-tinted spectacles or nostalgia for an age that never really existed but it chimes well with a belief that parents should be parents and that children should be allowed to be children - they are not savages, not to be wrapped in cotton-wool and not to be hidden away with IT devices.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 9 April 2014
I heard extracts from this book on the radio and laughed out loud so decided to buy it . I read it as a child but am enjoying it even more as an adult. It is truly a delight (I have downloaded three more of this series.)
I'm a busy person and I love the fact that each chapter stands on its own and is perfect to read during a coffee break!
There is a wonderful sense of a bygone era and the language laced with such observant humour is captivating.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 February 2011
The book is advertised as being a 'TV tie-in', which it is, but the sheer quality of writing by the author belies how long ago these stories were written. You can still picture yourself in the text (I can, at least, because when I was growing-up, we had a gang just like William's) and it takes you back to a time when boys could still be boys, and political correctness wasn't even thought-of !
Excellent value, and having checked availability of any 'Just William' books from our County libraries, about the only way that you can access the books.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 January 2015
My 10 year old loves this book. Its hard to find books that he enjoys as he's not into all the usual Harry Potter/adventure type stuff. It's quite old fashioned too and he seems to enjoy that aspect, I think he finds it cosy. Also I was quite impressed with the language and words used in the book, good for extending his reading ability.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse